Actress and screenwriter, Rashida Jones was set to pen the fourth installment of Pixar’s beloved animated franchise, Toy Story, alongside her writing partner, Will McCormack, but it looks like the company will need to look for another set of writers. Jones and McCormack reportedly exited the upcoming film’s production due to Pixar’s mistreatment of women and minority voices, Entertainment Weekly reports.
Jones released a statement explaining her exit from the project on Tuesday (Nov. 22). Her statement also refuted rumors that her leave of absence was due to “unwanted advances” from the animation studio’s Chief Creative Officer, John Lasseter. “The breakneck speed at which journalists have been naming the next perpetrator renders some reporting irresponsible,” the statement said.
“We did not leave Pixar because of unwanted advances. That is untrue. We parted ways because of creative and, more importantly, philosophical differences. There is so much talent at Pixar, and we remain enormous fans of their films. However, it is also a culture where women and people of color do not have an equal creative voice.”
Jones also noted that only a reported 20 films in the company’s history were co-directed by women, and only one was directed by a person of color. Finally, the statement concluded with Jones and McCormack calling on Pixar to be “to be leaders in bolstering, hiring, and promoting more diverse and female storytellers and leaders. We hope we can encourage all those who have felt like their voices could not be heard in the past to feel empowered.”
Toy Story 4 was reportedly scheduled to hit theaters in June 2019, but with Jones and McCormack’s departure from the writing table, it’s unclear when the film will be released.